A Celebrated Artist-Recluse
considered by many to be Norways greatest artist, was recently
persuaded, with great difficulty, to exhibit his work in London.
Never before had Mr. Munch shown his pictures abroad and for many
years he had refused to exhibit or sell even in Norway. he is
now 73 years old and lives the life of a recluse near Oslo.
The London exhibition could procure only four of the veteran artists
oil paintings. One of them, "The Sick Girl," was painted
in 1885, when Mr. Munch ranked among the moderns. The rest of
the show consisted of lithographs and colored woodcuts.
The large country house in which the artist lives his secluded
life has only two residential rooms. The rest of the building
is given over to workshops and storerooms filled with packing
cases and pictures that Mr. Munch declines to sell.
The old artist paints in a roofless barn, with long grass instead
of a floor, underfoot. Only two persons may intrude upon him,
one a shipping agent, and the other Pola Gaugin, son of the famous
painter. Some time ago, however, Professor Dorner, head of the
Landesmuseum in Hanover and an admirer of Munchs work, managed
to pay a call.
"Mr. Munch hates all contact with the outside world,"
Professor Dorner relates. "It took several days trying to
get in touch with him, but at last I managed to coax him not only
to consent to see me but also to show his pictures at the London
"He is old and ill but paints all the time. He never answers
letter; piles of correspondence are heaped on a desk in one of
New York Times. Feb 14, 1937.
text black on white